News & Politics

Best of 2005: Where to See New Artists

Our picks of the best places to check out the new talent in the art world

Most Washington galleries show a mix of established, midcareer, and young artists, but some, such as Fusebox (1412 14th St., NW; 202-299-9220;, emphasize new artists such as 26-year-old local painter Ian Whitmore. He sold out two gallery shows this year, the second one before the exhibit opened. Fusebox director Sarah Finlay says about two-thirds of her gallery is devoted to emerging artists, whose work sells for $500 to $15,000.

At G Fine Art (1515 14th St., NW; 202-462-1601;, Annie Gawlak showcases the work of such rising stars as Maggie Michael and Iona Rozeal Brown; prices range from $1,000 to $12,500 for younger artists' works.

Other good galleries for new artists are Conner Contemporary Art (1730 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-588-8750;, whose annual "Academy" exhibit features works by graduates of area art schools; Strand on Volta (1531 33rd St., NW; 202-333-4663;, an elegant, one-room Georgetown space; and Irvine Contemporary (1710 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202-332-8767;, which this year presented a show of recent art-school graduates.

Beyond the commercial galleries, beginning collectors should visit the tiny Transformer (1404 P St., NW; 202-483-1102;, a nonprofit that supports emerging artists, about 70 percent of them local and many doing experimental work. Prices are in the $500 range and, if you choose carefully, could be a good investment. A number of artists launched here–including New York installation artist Misaki Kawai and Los Angeles painter Jay-Gould Stuckey–are now showing in top commercial galleries and selling to museums.

Washingtonian staffers contributing to this section were Cristina Abello, Susan Baer, Susan Davidson, Ken DeCell, Rebecca Dreilinger, Kim Isaac Eisler, Mary Clare Fleury, Kimberly Forrest, Brooke Lea Foster, Garrett M. Graff, Cynthia Hacinli, Thomas Head, Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Chad Lorenz, Leslie Milk, Aparna Nancherla, William O'Sullivan, Cindy Rich, and Chris Wilson. Also contributing were Cathy Alter, Ann Cochran, and Matthew Graham.